By Francisco Salazar
Despite being knocked down and being mostly out-boxed by Timothy Bradley on Saturday night, much praise was given to Lamont Peterson for his performance in taking the fight to Bradley. Even Timothy Bradley stated that Peterson should hold his head high and that one day he will win a world title. With the performance that Bradley showed in front of a world audience, Peterson’s time, as well as other 140-pound fighters, may have to wait a while longer than expected. The former amateurs’ teammates and roommates were cordial and expressed praise in one another after their 12 round world title bout, where Bradley remained champion before a sold-out crowd at the Agua Caliente Resort Casino & Spa in Rancho Mirage, CA.
Photos: Big Joe Miranda
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Bradley put on a dominating performance against Peterson, in a fight most writers and boxing experts mostly predicted would be a close bout. Bradley left no doubts in the minds of the judges, with his ability to box and even knock Peterson down once on his way to a 12 round unanimous decision.
Bradley admitted that it was no easy bout, even being uncharacteristically nervous earlier in the day of the fight.
“Lamont had me nervous before the fight and I don’t get nervous,” said Bradley, who is promoted by Gary Shaw and Thompson Boxing Promotions. “This was a tough battle. My game plan was to take the fight to him, but he was taking the fight to me. He kept landing good body shots”
“My corner wanted me to stick and move, creating space. I did not want to give him any openings. I wanted to mix it up and move in and out, boxing him. I should have stayed on the outside more and mixed it up from there. I thought that I was going to outlast him.”
Bradley, who was defending his world title that he won in 2007, has fought some of the toughest and most talented fighters at 140 pounds. Fighting or defeating the likes of Peterson, Kendall Holt, and Nate Campbell have given Bradley more feathers in his cap so to speak.
However, Bradley felt that Peterson brought the best out of him, something that he feels he needs and wants.
“Without question, this was the toughest fight in my career. I just had to show him who the boss was in the ring.”
Gary Shaw praised Bradley for his performance and explained why he feels that Bradley is a complete fighter.
“He has speed, movement, and power with those shots. He is a complete fighter. However, I feel that Bradley is an underrated fighter. He does not get the credit that he is due.”
For Peterson, who had Top Rank boss, Bob Arum, watch from ringside, took nothing away from Bradley.
“Of course, I’m disappointed. I wanted to walk out of the arena with the title,” said Peterson, who hails from Washington, D.C. “Our plan was to win the first four rounds. He was landing shots on the inside. I figured that I lost that first round. I know I lost the third because of the knockdown. I just felt it was time for me to fight and try to catch up.”
“Now I just have to go back to the drawing board and come back stronger. I thought Bradley fought a great fight. He’s a great champion.”
Gary Shaw told Peterson to not be ashamed in defeat, that his time will come.
“When I walked out of the arena, my son told me that Lamont had a learning experience tonight. Within a year, he will be a world champion. He fought to the end. He has nothing to be ashamed of. He will be a world champion.”
Bob Aram agreed.
“We’re really proud of the way he fought. He fought his heart out. He just fought a superb fighter that was better than him tonight. He never quit for a moment. He will be back and he will be a world champion.”
As far as what is next for Bradley, he will enjoy time with his family and rest, admitting that this fight was the most physically exhausting in his career. Bradley also trained almost nine weeks for the fight.
Shaw wants to set up a fight with Amir Khan, who won last week by knocking out Dmitry Salita in the first round of their world title bout.
“We are willing to go to England and fight him. He’s already been knocked out once in his career.”
Bradley wants to fight the best out there and fighting Khan or anybody with a world title is fine by him.
“I fight to the level of my opposition. I want to take the high road and fight the best out there. The best fighters bring the best out of me. I want to stay as sharp as possible.”
With a talent-rich division of fighters and the way he has improved, looks like Bradley will stay and remain sharp for a long time to come.
Super Flyweight Vic Darchinyan retained world titles with a devastating second round knockout over interim titlist Tomas Rojas.
Despite having some early trouble with Rojas’ lanky style, Darchinyan landed a left hand that dropped Rojas for the count. Darchinyan felt it was only a matter of time before ending matters.
“I just took my time and wanted to catch him with my left,” said Darchinyan, who rebounded from his 12 round decision defeat to Joseph Agbeko in July. “I figured I was going to knock him out. He could feel my punches and my power in the first round.”
“He had done good in his career. He never lost by knockout. He was beating (Jorge) Arce, but was stopped to the body. He’s a good fighter. I just took my time and I knew what I had to do to get him out of there.”
Shaw will sit down with Darchinyan (33-2-1, 27 KO’s) and plan for a rematch with champion Nonito Donaire.
“We are going to stay at 115 pounds,” said Gary Shaw, Darchinyan’s promoter. “Bob Arum has agreed to discuss a rematch with Donaire.”